Updated: May 10, 2022
Who or what can't you live without?
At some point in our lives, we have all answered this question. This is a reflection of the things or people that are close to our hearts. I was studying Jesus' prayer at Gethsemane and it made me question a lot of things that I thought were important. I thought about Jesus’ life. His life was and is important, yet he decided to give it up for us WILLINGLY. Would I give up the most important thing if I was asked?
36 Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. 38 Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” 39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” 40 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42 He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”
At church this past Sunday, my pastor went in-depth about God's will. Click here to watch the sermon. Preaching starts at 1:05:00. For some reason, it made me think about Abraham! If you are not familiar with the story, Abraham and his wife Sarah could not conceive for a long time and God made them a promise. God gave them a son in their old age as a gift. (Genesis 17-22).
Genesis 22:1-3 NIV “Sometime later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you. Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about."
As a writer, you learn to pay attention to words. Did you notice that Abraham started his journey to sacrifice the promise the next morning? If it was me, I probably would need more time to spend with my promise and process if God really asked for it back. I don't think I would have the heart to act immediately. When I realized this as I was reading this passage, I had to pray. I had to pray that God gives me a heart that withholds nothing from him. Everything I have, all that I am is from God, why should I withhold anything from him? He is our Father. He gives his children perfect gifts. It is just so hard to remember this sometimes.
Genesis 22:4-5 " On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.”
Was that confidence? Was that Faith? Was that a lie to his servants to prevent further questions?
Genesis 22:6-8 Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, 7 Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father? “Yes, my son?” Abraham replied. “The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.
Verse 8 answered my many questions. Abraham believed that God would provide the sacrifice. His son was a gift from God, so technically the sacrifice was already provided by God.
Genesis 22:9-18 9 When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” “Here I am,” he replied. 12 “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” 13 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son.14 So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.” 15 The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time16 and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies,18 and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”
Abraham had faith! Faith is believing that God will provide even when you can't see a way. Faith is believing that God is able to do more than what we can comprehend. Faith is learning and believing that God loves us more than we love ourselves. Faith is believing that God's will for us is perfect. I still cannot believe that he was willing to sacrifice Isaac if that was God's will without a flinch. I keep wondering if his heart was heavy in the process. Whether his heart was heavy or not, he knew that Isaac was from God. He had full confidence in God's will for him. We should not be reluctant to give God back what he provided in the first place. My prayer for you is that you give your ALL to God withholding nothing.
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